Mysterious News Briefly — October 8, 2020
Researchers using DNA collected from ancient latrines and cesspools found that the prokaryotic and eukaryotic intestinal flora of people in the Middle Ages were loaded with bacteria, protozoa, fungi, and parasitic worms that were deadly back then but easily treated with antibiotics today. Kudos to these dedicated researchers who also manage to come up with the best words for sh*t.
A new study confirmed that the magnetic characteristics of the Moon most likely come from an ancient core dynamo, not plasma generated by meteoroid impacts as some scientists suggest. With the number of impact craters on the Moon, that kind of magnetic pull would affect not just Earth’s tides but its paper clips too.
Neandertals adults are depicted as having barrel chests and a new study shows that Neandertal babies were born with them, suggesting this was an inherited trait and not just a physical development due to the heavy breathing required to survive 50,000 years ago. This might explain why there are no cave paintings of Neandertals bench-pressing bisons.
Biologists in Pennsylvania discovered an extremely rare rose-breasted grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) that has male plumage on one side and female on the other – a clear sign of a genetic anomaly known as bilateral gynandromorphy. How soon before it appears on RuPaul’s Drag Race?
SpaceX is trying to convince residents of Boca Chica in southeastern Texas – who are mostly retirees — to sell their homes to the company and move because it’s too dangerous to live near Elon Musk’s private resort for launching Starship-Super Heavy rockets. They need to convince Musk it’s too dangerous to build it there and put the resort on Mars instead.
It hasn’t gotten much publicity lately, but the hole in the ozone over Antarctica reached 8.8 million square miles (23 million sq. km.) this year — more than twice the size of U.S. Once again, 2020 sets the bar even higher for 2021.
A 12-year-old middle school student in Memphis, Tennessee, broke a Guinness World Record when he became the youngest person ever to create a nuclear fusion reactor and he did it inside his family’s house. “We’re not worthy!” said every science fair participant for the next 20 years.
A team of doctors and engineers at Nanjing University developed a new hydrogel that they say repairs nerve damage in animals and may work just as well in humans. In the meantime, mice are probably stocking up as a way to defeat mousetraps.
Viruses similar to the one that causes rubella, or German measles, were found in three different species of animals that died in a German zoo, leading researchers to believe the German measles jumped from animals to humans. Is this the beginning of the end for German shepherds as pets?